Sunday, October 24, 2010

It must really be Fall

She reenacted the Linus in the leaf pile scene from It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Falling leaves are one indicator of the season, but so is the annual return of Veloswap. This was the first time that my cash and I had been in attendance in a few years, so it was with some relief that I returned home with no more bikes than when I left. That's not to say that I wasn't tempted by a brand new Long Haul Trucker in my size, on offer for a mere $700. I'm sure I'll be thinking about that bike for years, even though I'm comfortable with with the result. Does that mean my disease is in remission?

In the end, my expenditures for the day amounted to $15: $8 for admission, $5 for Albatross-ish bars made by Wald, $1 for a 140mm extension threadless stem (to hold a passenger handlebar on Julie's Xtracycle), and one last well-spent buck which netted me a set of 7-speed downtube Shimano 105 shifters and six 3mm threadless headset spacers. The bike-geek atmosphere was distinctly pungent, paying dividends as several hours of cheap entertainment.
Veloswap has changed markedly over the years. I preferred the vibe of the days before Craigslist and bike hipsters, when the event was one of the few venues to relish in old bike junk and prices for many items were a bit more reality-based than at present. I know a lot of things in bike-dom and the world of economics have changed in the past couple of decades, but for me it's difficult to rationalize $2,500 as an astoundingly great deal for anything, even if for a used downhill rig or sleek triathlon bike with an original retail price upwards of $5k.

I've changed a bit too since my last Veloswap. In the past I arrived armed with a comprehensive list of parts objectives, a metric tape measure and keen bargaining skills honed by a tour of duty in the Peace Corps. Curiously, this time around I enjoyed the social aspect of the swap, spending about as much time hanging out and talking with friends as I did searching through parts.

The lower-key approach continued into today. We rode the Big Dummy and the Xtracycle over to participate in a 5K run/walk to benefit the local school district. I opted to walk instead of run as I had planned, and ended up doing the course with her. We ran some and walked some, and I even served as steed to the diminutive princess on my shoulders from time to time. At the finish line, she and I ran across hand-in-hand in 48:14. It was good fun, and she did great in her first 5k. Sadly, I forgot the camera.

Later, we took a ride with friends Maggie and Doug, and had dinner with several bike pals in North Denver. It was a great day to maximize enjoyment of the current and unusually long stretch of pre-frost weather in the region. Overall, not a bad way to spend the weekend.
Urban foliage tour
Aboard my trusty Cross-check


  1. Such steely resolve to pass on the LHT! It's actually lucky for me that I work on Saturdays and thus haven't been to VS in years. It's very overwhelming (for me, anyway) but sounds like you've mastered it. Great pic of Stella, by the way, and it's always a delight to see the Cross Check. Oh, and you too.

  2. Well, part of that steely resolve was that I didn't have $700 in cash. While it was a lovely blue LHT, if it had been a green one, the temptation of having three green Surlys would have been too much. The guy who ended up with it looked quite happy, which incidentally made me happy too. Hi from the Cross Check and Stella.